If Masters in Business Administration are one of the most versatile professional degrees available, accounting MBAs are both versatile and an amazing choice for students with specific goals for their MBA. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams in many states require 150 credit hours of higher education. As 150 credit hours is often 30 more credit hours than a typical bachelors degrees, potential CPAs often need (at least part of) a masters degree to be able to take the exam. Of course many accountants also see the value in finishing the masters level programming they’ve begun, particularly in the case of a degree as lucrative as an MBA. In short, an accounting MBA allows students to both prepare for lucrative accounting certifications, as well as provide more general business and management know-how. Check out our 10 best online Accounting MBAs below!
- Affordability (1/3):
- Average indebtedness of program graduates in the last calendar year.
- Percentage of graduates who needed to take on student loan debt.
- Support Services (1/3):
- Online-specific flexibility, accessibility and support measures for online and non-traditional students
- Quality Classes (1/3):
- The average class size
- The percentage of faculty with terminal degrees in their field
1.) Colorado Technical University
Colorado Technical University is a private for-profit university with a main campus located in Colorado Springs, CO. Home to over 25,000 students, the university offers degrees at the bachelors through doctoral levels and is particularly known for the teaching of adult and nontraditional students. Accordingly, many degrees are available fully online and are tailored to working adults. Colorado Tech has been recognized for its focus on practical job-centered adult education by the likes of US News. Nationally ranked programs include all of their bachelors programming, as well as their graduate programs in criminal justice, computer information systems, and business programs.
The fully online Accounting MBA offered by Colorado Technical University places high in our ranking due to high marks in all metrics considered. The total degree requires 48 hours to complete, of which 16 credit hours are devoted to the specialization. For students both looking to multi-task their way to general business skills as well as potentially accelerate an accounting career, CTU’s program covers all of the core areas needed to complete the CPA exam. Average class sizes are manageable in the program, at 22 students per average. Quarterly classes help students to better form their schedules around busy working lives. CTU’s program is the 6th most affordable of those surveyed, coming in at $585 per credit hour.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $585
2.) Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University is a public coeducational university with a main campus located in Jacksonville, Alabama. With a motto of “the friendliest campus in the south” there’s definitely a lot of potential for camaraderie in the 8,000+ student campus. Degree offerings are wide at Jacksonville State, with bachelors through doctoral programming offered through five wide-ranging subject areas. Among other academic endeavors, the school is well known for its prominent marching band and precision dance line (the marching southerners and marching ballerinas, respectively). Many members of the 450 marching band are also members of Drum Corps International — the preeminent marching band organization in the nation — over the summer.
Jacksonville State University’s fully online Accounting MBA places highly in our ranking due to high marks in all three of our main metric categories. A solid 24 credit hour accounting concentration is more than enough for students willing to simply expand their knowledge and proceed to take a CPA exam. 33 credit hours are required for the entirety of the degree. Foundation courses may be circumvented for those with proper prior credits, accelerating time until degree. Jacksonville State University’s program is also affordable, ranking as one of the lowest-priced AACSB-international accredited schools, and the second most affordable program we surveyed for this ranking.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $461
3.) Concordia University Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin is a private liberal arts school with the main campus located in Mequon, Wisconsin. Home to close to 8,000 students, the university is a member of the Concordia University system, a group of liberal arts schools with strong online presences that are operated by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Christian denomination. Concordia University Wisconsin has grown rapidly over recent years, particularly in adult and nontraditional education settings. The size of the school has more than doubled since the 1995-96 school year, making the school the largest university associated with the Lutheran Church in America. Close to 100 academic programs are offered by the school at bachelors through doctoral levels, with many graduate programs focusing on practical and career-centered disciplines.
The fully online Accounting MBA offered by Concordia University Wisconsin places highly in our ranking due to its particularly high student services and quality class metrics. The goal of the program is to provide students not only with the proper graduate-level programming to pass the CPA exam, but also to provide students with a broad and comprehensive knowledge of business. Flexibility-enhancing components of the program include the lack of a GRE or GMAT requirement, as well as not requiring students to complete a thesis. Instead, students showcase their aptitude with a final project of their choice at the end of the program of study. Additional skills focused on in the program include equipping students with the ability to create and analyze a database of relevant financial data, as well as how to implement Ethical Decision-Making Frameworks. Concordia University Wisconsin’s accounting MBA is the 10th most affordable of programs surveyed.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $682
4.) Wilmington University
Wilmington University is a private, non-profit doctoral research university with a main campus located in New Castle, Delaware, and 11 other locations in Delaware, southern New Jersey and northeastern Maryland. The university’s current enrollment is over 21,000 students. It offers programming at the associate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Programming at all levels is career-oriented and practical, with the most popular degrees available in technology, business, health care, and education. Flexibility-enhancing features across many university programs include a generous transfer policy (up to 90 credit hours for undergraduate study), the option to take courses at an accelerated pace of 7 weeks per session (or a normal pace if you prefer), and the ability to gain credit for prior learning or on-the-job experience. Tuition is quite affordable, particularly for a private university. Tuition nationwide for the university’s online programming is the same as in-state attendance.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by Wilmington University ranks highly due to quality classes, flexibility, and pricing. One important measure of our quality classes metric includes the university’s student-faculty ratio. Wilmington University’s student-faculty ratio excels for a school of its size at 14:1, with almost 80% of classes having less than 20 students. Eighteen credit hours of the program are in accounting, which are more than enough to help students prepare for the CPA exam (if that is their goal with this MBA degree). Eighteen core curriculum courses in general MBA topics are also required in the accounting concentration. Courses are held in accelerated 7-week blocks that concentrate coursework to a greater degree and allow students to continue work and life responsibilities while in school. For students in Delaware and the surrounding region, in-person classes are also held at two campus locations on weeknights. The Wilmington University MBA in Accounting is the most affordable of all programs surveyed for our rankings.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $455
5.) Liberty University
Liberty University is a private non-profit Christian university with a main campus located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Classified as a doctoral research university, the school provides an education for about 22,000 students on campus. What Liberty is really known for, however, are the well over 100,000 students to whom it offers classes online. Over 500 degree types are available at Liberty, which including traditional and nontraditional students is the largest Christian university in the world. Accolades and rankings of the school particularly note the school’s online MBA program, online bachelors level programming, online criminal justice programming, and the conservative bent of the student body. Liberty has been named one of the most conservative colleges in the United States.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by Liberty University places highly in our ranking due to its relatively high marks in all three metric categories. Flexibility-enhancing program components include an extremely generous transfer policy, allowing qualified students to transfer in up to 50% of the required credits for graduation. Also, intensives and life/work experience credits help students to lower the time until their degree. A wide range of online support services have been honed in providing educations for the school’s vast number of students. These services include an online library, an online writing center, tutoring, and veteran support services. LU’s accounting MBA is the 5th most affordable of programs surveyed for our ranking.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $565
6.) Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a private non-profit university with a main campus located between Hooksett and Manchester, New Hampshire. SNHU is home to around 3,000 students on campus, and 60,000+ online, making the college one of the largest online providers in the United States. Online offerings are available at the associates through doctoral levels, with a total of over 260 degree programs available online. The university has been recognized for its innovation in recent years by the likes of Fast Company, naming SNHU one of the most innovative institutions in the world. Innovative elements at the university include wide-ranging 3-year bachelors offerings, a wide range of online support services, and the ability to achieve a degree with SNHU faster than with other comparable institutions.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by Southern New Hampshire University places highly in our ranking due to its high scores for student services and quality classes. Flexibility-enhancing components of the program include the ability to accelerate time until degree through taking two ten-week classes at once. This allows students to finish their course of study in as few as 15 months. Furthermore, no GRE or GMAT is required for the program, allowing students who are interested in pursuing the degree to jump right into the application process immediately. Three degree courses in accounting are required for the degree, which is a little low, but a perfect fit for students who are looking to emphasize their MBA core slightly more than accounting subject matter. A capstone project is required of all students. SNHU’s Accounting MBA is currently the 9th most affordable of programs surveyed.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $627
7.) University of the Southwest
The University of the Southwest is a private interdenominational four-year university with a main campus located in Hobbs, New Mexico. Currently, over 1,000 students attend the University of the Southwest at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Degree offerings are largely practical and job centered, with 22 undergraduate majors (including specialties), and 20 graduate degrees: 11 MBA specializations, and 9 Masters in Education specializations, all available entirely online. The University of the Southwest is also a Yellow Ribbon school, meaning they accept Post 9-11 GI Bill funds for qualifying veterans. USW is also a member of the Service Members Opportunity College, a consortium of schools offering aid to current military students who have trouble finishing their degrees due to moving so frequently. A tuition benefit is available to students who are currently in the military.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by the University of the Southwest places highly in our ranking due to its affordability and quality programming. One of 11 MBA specializations, the University of the Southwest has an impressive range of customization available for potential online students. The accounting option is designed for students wishing to pursue their CPA certification, and accordingly offers 15 of 36 credit hours in accounting courses. The degree may be pursued at whatever pace students wish to endeavor upon it, helping to grant students a greater ability to balance their school and work lives. USW’s accounting MBA is the third most affordable of programs we surveyed for our rankings.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $544
8.) Bellevue University
Bellevue University is a private, non-profit university with a main campus located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Home to over 10,000 students, Bellevue was founded in 1966 and is known for its focus on adult and nontraditional learners. In line with this focus, over 80% of students at Bellevue are over the age of 25, with most students taking courses online from the convenience of their homes. Flexibility is tantamount to Bellevue offerings, which include associates through doctoral level programming. Many programs of study may be taken in-class, online, in a cohort-based model, or in an accelerated model. This allows for students in many disciplines to tailor their learning environment to a great extent, allowing for a greater balance of school and life priorities.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by Bellevue University places highly in our ranking due to its affordability and quality academics. The accounting option of the MBA is geared towards students hoping to pursue their CPA or similar accounting licensure and offers a wide range of eleven accounting courses to choose from (a minimum of three must be chosen). Flexibility-granting components of the program include a generous transfer policy, as well as the ability to take classes in person or online interchangeably. The degree is also noted for being military friendly, with a designated military servicemember student support team offering services from the Military Veterans Service Center. Bellevue University’s MBA programming is regionally accredited (the highest form of accreditation) and the fourth most affordable option of MBA programs surveyed.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $545
9.) University of Maryland
The University of Maryland is a public flagship research university with a main campus located in College Park, Maryland (four miles from Washington, D.C.). A notable academic history and proximity to Washington, D.C. has helped to craft the University of Maryland into a very large research university. Currently, the university has close to 40,000 students total, many of whom also take online courses. Recent achievements at the university include the construction of the “M Square Research Park” beginning in 2004, a research park with projects from the Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, and the National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. For residential students, the university has championed a new “living learning” system in which students with similar academic interests can live together, take specialized classes, and perform research projects together. The university is regularly ranked as one of the top 25 public universities in the nation and in the top 60 schools public and private.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business places highly in our ranking due to high scores in the quality class and support services categories. Coursework in the MBA program is noted for its collaborative and hands-on approach. The program has also been ranked for a number of program facets, including being one of the best programs in the nation for veterans, as well as having some of the top faculty in the United States. Accounting-specific programming includes classes in fraud examination, the impact of taxes, and corporate valuation. With three courses in accounting, the course of study is heavier on general MBA courses than accounting. Which is a great fit for some students. The University of Marylands Accounting MBA is the 16th most affordable of programs surveyed for our ranking.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $1481
10.) Benedictine University
Benedictine is a private, Roman Catholic university with a main campus located in Lisle, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). With over 5,000 students, the university is (predictably) a Benedictine school, employing service-learning and Catholic pedagogy throughout its offerings. A wide range of degrees are currently available, with over 100 programs available at the undergraduate through doctoral levels. A top-ranked school, the MBA program is notable for being the fourth largest in the Chicago region and making online courses an even better fit for students within the metro area. For those who are nearby, the University’s location on the East-West Tollway helps to maintain a large number of internship and potential employment connections in the nearby area.
The fully online accounting MBA offered by Benedictine University places in our ranking due to its quality academics and affordable price point. The course of study requires a total of 64 credit hours, of which three courses are chosen from the five available accounting specialty courses. Mini capstone projects throughout the course of study allow students to work through hands-on projects and build a portfolio of work they can show their current or potential employers. The accounting option, while presenting a number of general MBA courses, is predominantly for those who are pursuing or wishing to advance in accounting roles in their work. The program is also a good fit for those who need accounting knowledge to start or better run their own business. The accounting MBA offered by Benedictine University is the 7th most affordable of those surveyed, quite a good deal for a quality, private education.
- Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour: $600